The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Utah Baseball Secures Three Wins in Opening Weekend

The Utes closed their opening weekend in the best way possible, a near-shutout win against the Lancers capped by a TJ Clarkson grand slam. 
University+of+Utah+freshman+Kai+Roberts+%28No.+27%29+in+a+NCAA+baseball+game+vs.+Washington+State+at+Smiths+Ballpark+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah+on+Saturday%2C+April+10%2C+2021.+%28Photo+by+Kevin+Cody+%7C+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Kevin Cody
University of Utah freshman Kai Roberts (No. 27) in a NCAA baseball game vs. Washington State at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

The University of Utah baseball team ended their opening weekend road trip to Southern California with three strong wins over the Pepperdine Waves and Cal Baptist Lancers. 

The Utes won three games in a row after dropping their first game of the spring season, a 1-0 loss to Pepperdine. Despite the opening loss, the Utes boast an impressive run differential of +15 after each of their three victories came by a margin of five runs or more. 

Game 1 — Pepperdine (Friday, Feb. 16)

The Utes’ first game of the season was a pitchers’ duel that saw both teams sit scoreless after six innings of play. 

Redshirt senior Bryson Van Sickle started on the bump for Utah and struck out three batters in four innings pitched. The outing also signified an important achievement in the lefty’s career, reaching 100 innings pitched with the Utes. 

The Utes surrendered the game’s lone run in the seventh after Pepperdine’s Julian Nunez scored on a groundout that advanced both Wave runners. Utah remained scoreless and ended the day with only two hits. 

Game 2 — Cal Baptist (Saturday, Feb. 17)

After a scoring lull in their first outing, the Utes had an offensive explosion in game two of their 2024 season. Eight different Utes tallied a hit in the team’s 9-4 victory over the Cal Baptist Lancers.

 Kai Roberts, Utah’s center fielder, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, leading the team in both hits and runs scored. Roberts’ run total was tied by left fielder Kaden Carpenter, whose fourth-inning blast to center gave the Utes significant breathing room, driving in two scores and putting the team up 7-3.

Carpenter’s fourth-inning homer was matched in the bottom of the sixth inning when Utah third baseman Tyler Quinn drove in Utah’s final two runs of the game on his first home run with the team. The former Pacific University athlete’s sixth-inning shot put Utah up 9-3, securing the team’s first win of the season. 

Junior right-hand pitcher, Bransen Kuehl, picked up the win, pitching 3.1 innings in relief, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk. 

Game 3 — Pepperdine (Saturday, Feb. 17)

Utah’s second game of the Feb. 17 doubleheader saw the team achieve a far different outcome than their Friday matchup against the Pepperdine Waves. 

After having just two hits the day prior, the Utes totaled 11 hits and nine runs in their revenge victory over the Waves that ended in a final score of 9-4

Utah’s hot batting from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader carried over, as the Utes had a five-run second inning that gave the team an early lead. Utah’s first score of the inning came from a Carpenter double that was played badly by Pepperdine enabling Quinn to score from third. The Utes then added four more scores on impressive offense from second baseman Bruer Webster and shortstop Core Jackson

Jackson led the Utes with three runs batted in — two of which came from a home run in the fourth inning that helped Karson Bodily score to put the Utes up 7-0. The home run marked Jackson’s first as a Ute. The shortstop came to Utah after having stints with South Mountain Community College in 2023 and Nebraska in 2022. 

Utah’s dominant victory over the Waves wouldn’t have been possible without some help from pitching. In his first start as a Ute, right-hander Brett Porthan pitched seven innings allowing just one run on four hits en route to the win. 

Game 4 — Cal Baptist (Sunday, Feb. 18)

The Utes closed their opening weekend in the best way possible, a near-shutout win against the Lancers capped by a TJ Clarkson grand slam. 

Utah didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning as right-hander Jaden Harris pitched a masterful 4.1 innings, striking out seven batters. The junior from Ridgeline High School’s seven strikeouts were good enough for a career-high

Overall, six Utes had a hit against CBU, including catcher Hunter Antillon who was the Utes’ only batter with two hits (2-3). In addition to strong batting, the Utes also took advantage of being on base, as a whopping four different Utes had a stolen base on the day

The play of the afternoon was undoubtedly Clarkson’s grand slam in the fourth inning. With first baseman Ethan Thomas on third, Antillon on second and Jackson at first, Clarkson belted a rope out of the park on the very first pitch of his at-bat. The grand slam, which was the second of Clarkson’s career, put Utah up 7-0. The Utes would give up a run in the seventh but never allow CBU to pull within striking distance, winning 7-1 to close out the weekend. 

Looking Ahead

The Utes will be back Friday, Feb. 23 as the team will stay in California to take part in the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament. The tournament will open in La Jolla, California where Utah will face UC San Diego at Triton Ballpark. 

 

[email protected]

@AustinEames55

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Austin Eames, Sports Writer
Austin Eames began writing for the Daily Utah Chronicle as a junior. Now a senior at the U, he writes for the Sports desk. Originally from Mission Viejo, California, he loves the beach but was willing to trade it in for the gorgeous Utah mountains. He loves most if not all sports, especially Lakers basketball and Chargers football. In his free time, you can find him in the never-ending pursuit of improving his golf game.
Kevin Cody, Photographer
Although he was born in Texas, Kevin Cody quickly found his home in the mountains of the west. He is a storyteller at heart, focusing on experiencing the world through his camera. Kevin will graduate this fall with a communications degree with a minor in digital photography. This is Kevin's second undergraduate degree as he is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University, a 2013 graduate with a degree in natural resource ecology and management.

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *